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New Steam FPS is the twisted love child of Nier Automata and Bioshock

Channeling the dark sci-fi feel of Bioshock and the hopelessness of Nier Automata, we chatted the devs of this new indie FPS game at WASD.

A robotic woman with glowing red eyes, white hair, and robotic implants on her face wearing a police cap that says 'Aylin' stares into the camera

The darkness is permeated by glowing red lights and the echoing hum of machinery. Your only companion is a young woman’s voice which, while sweet, is dripping with malice. Her name is Aylin, and she’s “watching you” from afar, Big Brother style. Channeling the dark sci-fi of games like Bioshock and Nier Automata, this is Luna Abyss, a bullet hell FPS that has intrigued me more than most of the games coming out this year.

Taking cues from the likes of The Callisto Protocol and the aforementioned Bioshock, all we know is that our protagonist is trapped in an interstellar prison and is being forced to explore the lethal abyss that has engulfed the mimic moon of Luna – hence Luna Abyss. Overseen by Aylin, taunted by whispers of a long-forgotten civilization, this bullet hell FPS game is equal parts gorgeous and grotesque – and I love it.

When we ask Bonsai Collective’s Hollie Emery about the inspirations for Luna Abyss at WASD 2024, they tell us that the team looked at games like Nier Automata, but also wanted to incorporate the “classic gameplay” from “the original Destiny, the Halo games” as well as Junji Ito’s manga.

Additionally, they note that “if you’ve ever read Blame!, a lot of the megastructures from that manga were really a big inspiration for the development and initial conception.”

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As with all of these games, however, there’s a sense of hopelessness. Everything in the Abyss is clearly out to get you, and you’ll need an arsenal of kitted-out weapons to get you through. Emery promises that you’ll be “dancing between bullets.”

But, of course, you’re firing them back, so we ask about what weapons to expect as we venture through this intergalactic hell. “So you can get a scout rifle,” they tell PCGamesN. “There’s also a shield breaker which you can use to take out shields, you get that during the first 15 minutes of gameplay.” They also tease that there’s the “equivalent of a sniper rifle,” and a “missile launcher” tucked away somewhere in the shadows, but those are things we’ll need to discover for ourselves.

The game also features a lock-on feature which Emery tells us is inspired by Metroid Prime, which is designed to provide an accessibility option for players with movement impairments. As someone with a tremor, that’s perfect for me.

A character in a video game shoots monsters in a metallic room, red lights flashing behind them

There’s no release date set for Luna Abyss, but the first few sections are available as part of an ongoing Steam Demo. If the Abyss and its dark, twisted secrets have ensnared you, pick up your rifle and get ready for a fight.

If you’ve exhausted the demo, however, we have a rundown of all the best horror games if shooting monsters sends shivers down your spine. Alternatively, we have a list of all the best free Steam games, too, meaning you won’t have to break the bank to try something new.

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Additional reporting by Nat Smith at WASD for PCGamesN.